Premier League referee Craig Pawson is DEMOTED by UEFA after controversial season… as John Brooks earns promotion after being ranked top-flight’s best

  • Craig Pawson has been relegated to the Second list, UEFA’s third tier for officials
  • John Brooks has been promoted to First list after being ranked the league’s best 
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Premier League referee Craig Pawson has been demoted to UEFA’s Second list. 

The 45-year-old has been replaced by fellow Englishman John Brooks in the governing body’s First list which currently also includes Chris Kavanagh. 

Anthony Taylor – who was at the centre of attention on Friday after ruling out the Netherlands’ goal against France – and Michael Oliver remain the only English referees on UEFA’s Elite List, the highest tier for referees. 

Pawson will join Stuart Attwell, Darren England, Jarred Gillett, Rob Jones, and Andy Madley on the Second list, UEFA’s third tier for officials.

Brooks’ performances in the 2023-24 season have been rewarded as he had the best of all top flight referees according to ESPN, and second best VAR.   

Premier League referee Craig Pawson (above) has been demoted to UEFA’s Second list

The 45-year-old created headlines when he ruled out a late Chelsea goal against Aston Villa

The 45-year-old created headlines when he ruled out a late Chelsea goal against Aston Villa

Pawson created headlines earlier this year after he controversially ruled out a late Chelsea goal against Aston Villa in April. 

The Premier League currently boasts four referees on Uefa’s Elite and First lists, which is a low figure in comparison to other European countries. 

France, Germany and Italy all have six referees on the two lists while Spain and Romania boast five each. 

English referees came under further scrutiny when Taylor ruled out Xavi Simon’s late strike against France. 

The game ended 0-0 – the first goalless draw of Euro 2024 – despite France dominating the contest in terms of possession and chances.

But the Dutch side will feel that they could, or perhaps should, have won the game after Simons beat France keeper Mike Maignan with a sweet low strike from 15 yards midway through the second half.

English referees came under further scrutiny when Anthony Taylor ruled out Xavi Simon's late strike against France

English referees came under further scrutiny when Anthony Taylor ruled out Xavi Simon’s late strike against France

One of the assistant referees immediately flagged for offside as Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries was deemed to be interfering with play.

The match was then delayed for well over two minutes as the VAR team sought to conclude whether that was the correct decision. In the end, they concluded that it was.

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